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View Full Version : Air Chair or Sky Ski.....difference?


Jerseydave
04-29-2005, 11:10 PM
About 10 years ago I tried an Air Chair borrowed from my MC dealer.
It was a blast, and now that I can afford one (used) I need to know whats better.....Air chair or Sky ski? What is the difference between them?
I'm a beginner at this, but I don't want to have to buy a second one later on when/if I get better at it.
If I can find a used one on e-bay, that may be my best bet.
(Oh, yea guess I better buy my MC first :D :D )

erkoehler
04-29-2005, 11:40 PM
About 10 years ago I tried an Air Chair borrowed from my MC dealer.
It was a blast, and now that I can afford one (used) I need to know whats better.....Air chair or Sky ski? What is the difference between them?
I'm a beginner at this, but I don't want to have to buy a second one later on when/if I get better at it.
If I can find a used one on e-bay, that may be my best bet.
(Oh, yea guess I better buy my MC first :D :D )


I got the same problem! All the toys for the boat, but no boat :(

Laurel_Lake_Skier
04-29-2005, 11:47 PM
I got a Sky Ski last year and really enjoy it. You might get an answer from a real expert.....Are you out there AirJunky? If you do really get into it, you'll most likely end up upgrading. I don't think it makes much difference which you choose for the entry level. As with anything, as your skills increase, you'll want more from your equipment. If you think the basic models are pricey, check out some of the top-of-the-line stuff. You can buy a boat for less!

I think you'll have fun with any of the hydrofoils. I'd stay away from some of the older models and get one just a couple of years old if you are looking at used foils. Check out some of the hydrofoil specific sites. People that are upgrading often post their old equipment there more reasonalbly than you might find on e-bay.

SkySkiSpokane
04-30-2005, 01:03 AM
AirJunky just left my place so I am sure he will post to this later. I have ridden both the airchair and the sky ski. I prefer the Sky Ski and I think that it is easier to ride and also rides much more neutral (flies around sitting more upright than leaning back or forward on it). Sky Ski is also only using billet aluminum now so they are lighter and stronger than the old cast. The new 2 piece billet has a very high performance ride for the price. If I was in your situation I wouldn't settle for a cast foil at all, in fact I just upgraded to billet myself. Once you get on the thing it is easy to get addicted. Go to a fly-in (www.hydrofoil.org) and you can ski with riders of all abilities and there are usually pros hangin out with everyone. I also slalom ski but since I found the foil my Phantom is getting less and less miles. If you are planning on using it at all I would say spend the money for a billet Sky Ski. You won't need to upgrade for quite a while. Just my :twocents:
If you have any questions you can PM me or Airjunky and we can give you any and all advice you may be looking for but be prepared to become an addict. Check out www.foilfreaks.com for more info also. :toast:

AirJunky
04-30-2005, 01:45 AM
HEhehe, thanks guys...... NJSkier, I can't say enough about SkySki as a company & their products. I've been riding SS & AC since 1993, sold my HO Mach1 slalom ski & Hyperlite Shapiro Honeycomb wakeboard to ride these things full time. There is no other experience like flight, flying over the wake without even feeling it. I warn you, if you try these things, be prepared to put a lot of hours on your boat. Now days I need a strong ski as I'm well over 200 lbs & consistantly getting 10' or 12' of air on jumps, air rolls, wake rolls, front rolls & backflips. When I crash, I crash big & can bend or break a ski. The billet aluminum foils made by SS are strong, lightweight & fly super nice.
So what to buy, huh. A used SS will cost you $500 - $1500 & probably give you the strength & support that you can ride it as a beginner & well into your intermediate level. As you get better, a Shock Tower seat or a longer billet foil will help you get more air & clean up your landings.
The Stealth AC has a beginner wing that is great for beginners, but you will want to ditch it within the first week of riding it. Jumps of any significant height are difficult with the beginner wing. The curved blades are super quick, so much so that I found them difficult to get control of when you land. A more foregiving foil (SS) will allow you to land you first inverts much sooner.
You can go with an older foil, but they are so inferior to anything made in the last 2 or 3 years that you'd be holding yourself back in developing your skills. If you can afford it, get on a 2 piece billet SS with a rock tower, price is under $1400 & it'll give you a good ride well into your intermediate & advanced skills.
And check out the Hydrofoil List (http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/Hydrofoil/) , the single largest group of riders anywhere on or off the net. Lots of riders of all types there, SS, AC, sit down, stand up, behind a boat or kite. There is very likely some riders on there that are in your area who would be willing to take you out to test ride a foil before you buy.

Utahfoiler
04-30-2005, 01:51 AM
What ever you do, do not ride someone's LE unless you are ready to spend a lot of money. I had a 2 piece billet SS, after riding a LE, well I have one now. Just got it and love it.

erkoehler
04-30-2005, 01:52 AM
This stuff sounds addicting! :D

SkySkiSpokane
04-30-2005, 01:54 AM
Your (future) payments are going up as we speak erk!! :eek:

SkySkiSpokane
04-30-2005, 01:55 AM
I think AirJunky is making that LE jump, right Bill??!!! :uglyhamme

erkoehler
04-30-2005, 01:55 AM
Nope, can't do it! Gotta get a boat first, then use what I have in ski equipment for a couple years.

SkySkiSpokane
04-30-2005, 01:57 AM
That is the same thing I told myself too. hehehe!!! ;)

AirJunky
04-30-2005, 01:59 AM
Oh and in 13 years of skiing, 11 on a foil, I've owned a boat for about 7 of those. I've never had a problem being a 3rd. Every boat owner needs at least one or two others to go out. In fact, many of the years I was the 3rd, I would get way more hours behind a boat because I'd have 2 or 3 boat owners who would call me to ask if I wanted to join them........ some times in the same day!

erkoehler
04-30-2005, 02:03 AM
Basically, I along with my friends and other family have outgrown the boat we currently have. Parents don't want another boat, so it is my turn. I should be able to advance further on current wakeboard and work on barefoot alittle more w/ a different boat.

east tx skier
04-30-2005, 02:49 AM
Oh and in 13 years of skiing, 11 on a foil, I've owned a boat for about 7 of those. I've never had a problem being a 3rd. Every boat owner needs at least one or two others to go out. In fact, many of the years I was the 3rd, I would get way more hours behind a boat because I'd have 2 or 3 boat owners who would call me to ask if I wanted to join them........ some times in the same day!

Two is nice, but I can get out with only one extra. But two is better to balance things out.

erkoehler
04-30-2005, 03:29 AM
Two is nice, but I can get out with only one extra. But two is better to balance things out.


I think he meant driver, spotter, skier. Or do you not need a spotter?

AirJunky
04-30-2005, 03:31 AM
I think he meant driver, spotter, skier. Or do you not need a spotter?
Legally, yes.
Technically....... not if the driver knows what he's doing.

erkoehler
04-30-2005, 03:32 AM
Legally, yes.
Technically....... not if the driver knows what he's doing.

I wasn't sure if the law varied at all by state.

east tx skier
04-30-2005, 11:20 AM
Legally, yes.
Technically....... not if the driver knows what he's doing.

In Texas, you are not legally required to have a spotter if you have at least 4"x4" mirror. With 2 7x14" mirrors and one 3' wide Rawley Vision, I think we're covered.

erkoehler
04-30-2005, 12:21 PM
With all those mirrors helping you see the skier, can you still see out the front window :eek:

AirJunky
04-30-2005, 04:52 PM
With all those mirrors helping you see the skier, can you still see out the front window :eek:
No :toast:

erkoehler
04-30-2005, 06:29 PM
Glad I asked!

AirJunky
04-30-2005, 06:39 PM
Um, sorry for being blunt, but kind of a dumb question. Of course we can see out the front. The mirrors are above the windshield, just like any boat.

erkoehler
04-30-2005, 06:45 PM
I know, I read your one post where you were describing the mirrors that you had, and it just seemed like an awful lot of mirrors!

MarkP
04-30-2005, 06:51 PM
No :toast:LOL!!



Hey AJ
Can you offer a source or link to find that bracket on your mirror??

AirJunky
04-30-2005, 07:04 PM
In my case, their stock Calabria brackets that I ordered directly from the dealer here in Kirkland, WA.
Someone else here on the MC site recently ordered a pair of them from Calabria directly, but I don't recall who it was. Their site is:
http://www.calabriaboats.com

MarkP
04-30-2005, 07:40 PM
Thanks I may send my DIM bracket back and use one like yours

André
04-30-2005, 07:54 PM
No :toast:
Still laughing... :uglyhamme

erkoehler
04-30-2005, 08:27 PM
I am glad I have provided an afternoon of laughter for everyone.

Foiler
04-30-2005, 10:27 PM
I rented the air chair did some checking around like you are doing now and bought the sky ski. I'm not bashing another product I don't care what anyone rides but if you go to any get togethers or what we call fly-ins...well I'll let the photo speak for it's self. This is from the Florida fly-in this month.

André
05-01-2005, 08:41 AM
That's about 50 AC or SS.
Wow,more then 75 000 $ of foils...
How do you deepwaterstart on those...things? :D

Jerseydave
05-01-2005, 09:31 AM
Wow, that's alot of Air junkys!!!!!

Thanks for all the info, guys! Can't wait to get out on the water this season. If all goes well and I sell my Formula soon, I'll have my MC X30 or Maristar 230 and I'll look for a nice sky ski!

Any fly-ins in the northeast area? I'd love to see some of you riders getting big air! VERY COOL :cool:

Foiler
05-01-2005, 10:26 AM
That's about 50 AC or SS.
Wow,more then 75 000 $ of foils...
How do you deepwaterstart on those...things? :D

You strap yourself in and hang on, the ski floats it's not too bad. Some come up on their first few tries others it takes more time.

The nice thing about it is you can ride it at 10-12mph so the falls don't knock you silly.

Laurel_Lake_Skier
05-01-2005, 11:55 AM
In my case, their stock Calabria brackets that I ordered directly from the dealer here in Kirkland, WA.
Someone else here on the MC site recently ordered a pair of them from Calabria directly, but I don't recall who it was. Their site is:
http://www.calabriaboats.com
I just got a pair based on Bill's reccomendation. Made the order direct from Calabria. To fit the windshield on my '91 I got what they called the "old style" mounts....like those shown in Bill's photos. I don't have the phone number handy but it is on the web site. Talk to Joyce.....the brackets were a good deal at a $18 and change each.

tall_ andy
05-01-2005, 12:41 PM
NJ Skier,
As always you are welcome to come up to Budd lake and ski with us!! Bring the SS if you get it, I'm sure it'll be a blast.
I should be getting the Monster Tower this week, the perfect pass install should be done soon, and the stereo upgrade is going well also. Have a kneeboard for the kids now!!
I hope to have the boat in the water by 2nd weekend in May after all the work has been done

Andy

AirJunky
05-01-2005, 02:41 PM
That's about 50 AC or SS.
Wow,more then 75 000 $ of foils...
How do you deepwaterstart on those...things? :D

Actually, it's like 47 SkySkis & 3 Air Chairs. Average cost is around $2000...... closer to $100k! It's not unusual to have $15,000 worth of skis in a $10,000 boat when you ride these things!
Average rider is a working man, technology professional, into snowmobiles, motorcycles, etc..... and many times an ex-slalom skier, wakeboarder or barefooter!

Tom023
05-01-2005, 04:08 PM
Airjunky, and others...

How much of a pounding do you take on landings? Now that I bit the bullet and had back surgery two weeks ago, no slalom or boarding for me until the end of the summer, and then I'll see how it goes. I was thinking these things look pretty smooth, maybe something I could handle while recovering, although some crashes I saw were pretty spectacular. I'm just trying to get a feel between a landing on a chair versus a similar jump on a wakeboard.

Foiler
05-01-2005, 05:49 PM
Airjunky, and others...

How much of a pounding do you take on landings? Now that I bit the bullet and had back surgery two weeks ago, no slalom or boarding for me until the end of the summer, and then I'll see how it goes. I was thinking these things look pretty smooth, maybe something I could handle while recovering, although some crashes I saw were pretty spectacular. I'm just trying to get a feel between a landing on a chair versus a similar jump on a wakeboard.

Landings are very smooth after you master a new trick, the foil starts flying again as soon as it hits the water. You can keep the board from hitting the water on landings after some practice.

A shock tower would be the ticket for your back, The air and oil filled adjustable shock gives 3+" making crashes less stressful on the back.
The 10-12mph boat speed would also help but as with learning anything new your going to crash, I guess it depends on your injury and how agressive you get with it if you could get away with it or not.

As far as comparing landing on a wake board versus a hydrofoil...no comparison the hydrofoil is like landing on a feather bed

sten76
05-01-2005, 06:23 PM
I have heard the Air Chairs can be dangerous. When you fall bad you can hit the back of your head with the fin under the water, since you are strapped into the chair. Is this true? This looks great, but I have heard some bad stories about it.

Foiler
05-01-2005, 06:44 PM
I have heard the Air Chairs can be dangerous. When you fall bad you can hit the back of your head with the fin under the water, since you are strapped into the chair. Is this true? This looks great, but I have heard some bad stories about it.

I can see why people would think it's dangerous, it looks like you're strapping a gaint blade on and riding. I go to a different states every year and ride with a lot of people. I've only heard of a very few injuries mostly tennis elbow or the usual skiing stuff. One of my friends hit his eyebrow with his knee and had to get stitches but that's about it.

You're strapped to it so you can't really hit the blades, my girls learned when they were 9 years old. If it was dangerous I sure wouldn't have let them on it. You can see by the photo that my head is far from the blade even when arching back.

André
05-01-2005, 06:58 PM
Nice pix Foiler!
I'm always amaze of how much air you guys get without a big wake!!!

sten76
05-01-2005, 08:24 PM
That's an awesome picture. That helps a ton. Like they say, a picture speaks a thousand words.

jimmer2880
05-02-2005, 07:13 AM
I can see why people would think it's dangerous, it looks like you're strapping a gaint blade on and riding. I go to a different states every year and ride with a lot of people. I've only heard of a very few injuries mostly tennis elbow or the usual skiing stuff. One of my friends hit his eyebrow with his knee and had to get stitches but that's about it.

You're strapped to it so you can't really hit the blades, my girls learned when they were 9 years old. If it was dangerous I sure wouldn't have let them on it. You can see by the photo that my head is far from the blade even when arching back.

Awsome pic!

One of these days I need to ride one of these. But - the $2k price tag may just be enough to keep me off of it.

SkySkiSpokane
05-02-2005, 02:13 PM
Jimmer,
Don't ride one unless you are prepared to drop at least the minimum price tag ($1400ish new). I made that mistake and now I am about $2500 deep and in just the ski and thinking about dropping more. Mac and Cheese is now the gourmet dinner at my house. :D
Worth every penny!!

AirJunky
05-02-2005, 02:56 PM
Airjunky, and others...

How much of a pounding do you take on landings? Now that I bit the bullet and had back surgery two weeks ago, no slalom or boarding for me until the end of the summer, and then I'll see how it goes. I was thinking these things look pretty smooth, maybe something I could handle while recovering, although some crashes I saw were pretty spectacular. I'm just trying to get a feel between a landing on a chair versus a similar jump on a wakeboard.
Like Keith already said, the landings can be very smooth when you get the hang of it, especially with the Shock Tower. I have a buldging disc at L5 S1, sitting on my psiatic nerve, sucks on a bad day. It's degenerative problem from before I started skiing but is definitely agravated by rough landings.
So just like any discipiline, you can take it as big & agressive or as easy going as you see fit. The record for age on a foil is 84 & 2.5 yrs old..... and believe me, their not bustin out big gainers at those ages!
Heres the video (http://www.foilfreaks.com/Videos/MaryMurphy/MaryMurphy-Ripleys-2-26-03.wmv) of Mary Murphy riding out to Catalina Island & back.... 52 miles at 84 yrs old!!
And the video (http://www.foilfreaks.com/Videos/Dano-Boatshow/Dano-HowOldToSkySki.wmv) of little Emma learding to ride at 2 1/2 yrs old!

FrankSchwab
05-02-2005, 05:49 PM
How much of a pounding do you take on landings?

I ain't a very good foiler, but I'll give my opinion anyway.

While learning, you're going to have a few out-of-control crashes. Believe it or not, I learned that the best thing to do when you figure out you're going to crash is let go of the rope, and lean back. It generally means you go in upside-down, head-first, which is surprisingly gentle but spectacular, and gives the peanut gallery a good laugh. A whole lot better than going in over the tip of the ski. That can hurt, a lot, even at slow speeds.

Once you progress to jumping, the landings can hurt until you figure it out, then they're very soft if you do it right. Amazingly so, once again.

Everyone who we've taught has come into the boat laughing after their first "flight".

/frank

tex
05-02-2005, 06:17 PM
i have both-go with sky ski. the important thing is to ride. don't get caught up in upgrading so fast. buy a good one and learn to ride it!

jimmer2880
05-03-2005, 07:06 AM
Jimmer,
Don't ride one unless you are prepared to drop at least the minimum price tag ($1400ish new). I made that mistake and now I am about $2500 deep and in just the ski and thinking about dropping more. Mac and Cheese is now the gourmet dinner at my house. :D
Worth every penny!!

I'm glad you're about 48 states away from me then! :D

Tom023
05-03-2005, 11:42 PM
Foiler/Airjunky/Frank,

Thanks for the input, I think I'll give it a try. Now I just have to follow everyone's advice and figure out what to get.

east tx skier
05-06-2005, 05:01 PM
I am glad I have provided an afternoon of laughter for everyone.

Well, I was being somewhat facetious. Like Bill's, both of my 7x14s are mounted above the glass. With the big mirror, I may not need those. But Bill seems to either (a) have had one of these mirrors and determined it wasn't right for his application and is waiting for me to admit I have made a mistake (never gonna happen even if it doesn't work for me) ;), or (b) just thinks these mirrors are worthless. If I have room for all three mirros up top, before too long, I'm going to try it because why not. They will not impede my view because they're all above the windshield frame.

I walked under it last night to get to the bow with no trouble whatsoever. I removed it for my tow to the lake today in less than 30 seconds.

Again, for $22 bucks, if this thing ends up being a paper weight, so be it.

As for the foils, they have always looked like a blast to us, but we haven't yet tried them. Is a tower or fly-high pretty much a requirement?

FrankSchwab
05-06-2005, 06:11 PM
Nah, not a requirement for awhile.

Having the tower makes getting up a little bit easier, but only a little bit. Like wakeboarding, having a tower really doesn't do squat for you until you start pulling big air.

rodltg2
05-06-2005, 06:42 PM
i really want to try this but there is nopw way im forking out 1200 or so just to try it. no one demos one around here either. has anyone come across one cheap on ebay? i dont care if its trashed . i just want to try it. i'd be willing to pay maybe up to 300. i want to buy a wakesurf too.

AirJunky
05-06-2005, 06:44 PM
Well, I was being somewhat facetious. Like Bill's, both of my 7x14s are mounted above the glass. With the big mirror, I may not need those. But Bill seems to either (a) have had one of these mirrors and determined it wasn't right for his application and is waiting for me to admit I have made a mistake (never gonna happen even if it doesn't work for me) ;), or (b) just thinks these mirrors are worthless. If I have room for all three mirros up top, before too long, I'm going to try it because why not. They will not impede my view because they're all above the windshield frame.

Hehehehe, no worries. You've more than earned your keep here. I loved the view that big mirror gave to the driver. Just didn't like screwin with it everytime I hit a bump. Being a course skier, maybe you don't do that too often. Being a foil rider, I ride in some nasty conditions that would make you wonder.

As for the foils, they have always looked like a blast to us, but we haven't yet tried them. Is a tower or fly-high pretty much a requirement?
Let me know when your ready to give it a try. I'll have Todd swing by your dock for your first lesson!!

The tower is nice to have, even for rookies (keeps the handle from smackin ya in the toes), but it's no more "necessary" than a pylon is to a skier. :uglyhamme

rodltg2
05-06-2005, 06:53 PM
Let me know when your ready to give it a try. I'll have Todd swing by your dock for your first lesson!!

:uglyhamme


what about me ,no lesson?

AirJunky
05-06-2005, 06:54 PM
what about me ,no lesson?
HEhehe, geez, you goin to Texas for yours? Or would you like me to call former world champ Damon Moore for lessons on the delta? :toast:
Actually, Damon's not quite as easy to get to know. Might cost you a few bucks. But there are a couple other guys who ride on the delta & would enjoy showing you a thing or two. Plus there are a couple guys in Auburn, CA. Where do you ski?

rodltg2
05-06-2005, 06:59 PM
maybe texas if i win the mc jump boat, delta is closer.

wasnt the extended pylon originally invented for the air chair? i remember some guy trtying to sell them at the beach at lake havasu many reays ago. i told him "that thing is stupid, no way i pay 500 for that". little did i know.

AirJunky
05-06-2005, 07:11 PM
Long grey haired guy? Could have been Murphy. AC is based in Havasu City. Seems like he told me he'd been using a higher tow point for a long time.
May have also been Ron Stack of AirBoom. Blonde surfer lookin guy, used to hang out in the Havasu/Parker Strip area a lot. And he claims to have been one of the first extended pylons.

rodltg2
05-06-2005, 08:43 PM
i dont remember , it was spring break. who ever it was , he was sitting at the beach at the nautical inn. i think he had a ski nautique?

rbpilot1
06-09-2008, 10:11 AM
One of the treads said something about loooking on different websites for used ski skis. does anyone have a list of what those sites are. i am not having god luck finding them. Rob

rbpilot1@yahoo.com

Jerseydave
06-09-2008, 02:02 PM
Try here:

www.foilforum.com

bigmac
06-09-2008, 02:34 PM
One of the treads said something about loooking on different websites for used ski skis. does anyone have a list of what those sites are. i am not having god luck finding them. Rob

rbpilot1@yahoo.com

watch ebay - they come up fairly often.

If you look at used, you'll note that resale on these things is pretty good. I started out with an Air Chair that I bought new on ebay for $1100. I sold it on ebay after two seasons for $1050 (bought a used Sky Ski).